The world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, are scheduled to make several appearances in the area from Sept. 18-23 to commemorate Great Rivers Distributing's grand opening ceremonies and play host to several local parades.
The eight-horse Hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon for three local parades. The Budweiser Clydesdales will parade on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. in Houston, Friday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. in Eminence and Saturday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. in downtown West Plains. In addition, their will be two separate single horse shows for the public to get a more close up view and interaction with a Clydesdale. The first single horse show will be at Wal-Mart in Houston, Mo., on Tuesday, Sept. 18 between 2:30-4:30 p.m. and the second show will be at the Southern Hills Shopping Center in West Plains, Mo., on Saturday, Sept. 22 between noon and 2 p.m. The Clydesdale will be available for photo's and the handler will be available to answer questions about the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be stabled across from Great Rivers Distributing's new facility in Pomona, Mo. The general public is invited to drop in for stable viewing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Tuesday through Sunday.
The Clydesdales' appearance in the greater West Plains area is one of 300 made annually by the five traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands -- or six feet -- at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white stockings, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is very important, as hitch horses often meet millions of people each year.
A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.
Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian dog. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.
Budweiser Clydesdale traveling hitches are based in St. Louis, Mo., Menifee, Calif., San Antonio, Texas, San Diego, Calif. and Merrimack, N.H. The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the following Anheuser-Busch breweries: St. Louis, Mo, Merrimack, N.H., and Ft. Collins, Colo. Also Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at Grant's Farm in St. Louis and at the following Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks: Busch Gardens Tampa, Fla., Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Va., Sea World San Diego, Calif., Sea World Orlando, Fla. and Sea World, Texas.